Love or Hate? The 3 Changes on Instagram

Instagram growth is skyrocketing by double-digit numbers (the social network has announced 500 million users lately), and the world of social media never sleeps. It’s ever more important to stay updated and follow the trends. So have you noticed how Instagram has changed recently? If it’s still the multiple accounts that make you jump out of your skin with joy, you’re lagging behind… a lot. What are the latest changes that some people LOVE and others HATE?


1. Relevancy Has Killed Chronology

The hottest topic recently — the Instagram algorithm. The fear of many has become reality. Why the change? 100% organic reach was the seventh heaven of social media geeks, and the ever increasing support of ads on Instagram boosted the interest in both ads and posting itself. However, the number of users and brand profiles and their average number of followed accounts was gradually rising. The content in news feed began to multiply so much that we would normally not scroll through as much as 70% of it. Of course, advertising is one of the major reasons. The engagement rate of brand content was plummeting.

Instagram wants to provide its users with the kind of content that they open the app to see. This makes it higher quality and more relevant for each particular user. In turn, it prolongs the time they spend on the platform and boosts its popularity. But no worries, the algorithm doesn’t mean the posts will be filtered; they will just be arranged from the most relevant to the least relevant.

Cheap and cheesy ads will probably get ditched, and new, innovative Instagram strategies of jolly good marketers will get the green light. You’ll need to invest more time, creativity, money, effort, and whatnot to engage the target audience.

The goal is to ensure a personalized experience and get closer to potential customers. The first key criteria in the algorithm have already emerged. The 4 benchmarks that affect the order of posts are:

  • Post popularity → the more hearts and comments, the better!
  • Relationship → it matters how the one who posts and the receiver are related
  • Post up-to-dateness → the fresher the information, the higher up it gets
  • Behavior → what you share with other users and who they are; this puts you in a certain group of users

2. Videos Keep Going Strong

May 2015 was the time of our enchantment with Facebook videos as supercontent. Those have mutated in the blue waters into two perfect modifications: 360 Videos and Live Videos. Instagram has also seen some progress in this area. The end of February has brought information about video views, and now, all video geeks are smiling ear to ear thanks to 60 second videos (only 15 seconds before).

What triggered these improvements? There may be more reasons, but the main one is that in the last 6 months, the time spent watching videos on Instagram has grown by 40%. And that’s a decent growth rate.

3. More Relevant Click to Website Campaigns

The Click to Website campaign on Instagram used to be all about simplicity. Click on a picture or a button, and you’re taken directly to the predefined website. Now, it’s not that way anymore. After clicking on the picture, you get a rasterized layer with the website name and URL address. You can edit this layer as needed in the Ads Manager. This works similarly with the mobile install ads campaign. One small difference is that the overlay will read “View in App Store” on iOS and “View in Play Store” on Android instead of the URL address.

Is the idea of having lower click-through rate starting to haunt you? It certainly is possible. The underlying reason for this step is to increase relevant click-throughs to your website and avoid random wanderers. Sounds better, right?

Does all this mean that you should switch to a different social network? Definitely… not! Work hard on your content, target your audience precisely, and don’t forget to promote. Instagram will certainly keep optimizing the algorithm and adding new features as well as options for sponsoring posts. It has already been promised that the canvas advertising format will be rolled out in the second half of this year.

So ready, steady, go! Refresh your news, keep up to date. And don’t forget to plan your social media content to make it work. Kontentino lets you easily plan and approve social media posts, including those on Instagram. Start now and get one month for free!

You can read this and other posts on our Kontentino blog and find the Slovak version of this blog post on Triad blog :)